MILAN — The Italian trade show White, which focuses on men’s and women’s contemporary ready-to-wear and accessories collections, unveiled a new project here Tuesday.
Set to debut during White’s June edition in the Ex Ansaldo industrial venue, the White Street Market will be a new area of the fair to showcase a selection of sportswear and streetwear labels. For the first time, the dedicated space will be accessible not only to buyers but also to consumers, who will have the opportunity to buy the fashion items shown at the location.
“I realized that sportswear companies need and search for a direct contact with final costumers and the trade show environment, as of now, represents an outdated [business] model,” said White’s founder and president Massimiliano Bizzi, who also added that the new format will represent an event for the whole city, as it will offer a “B2C channel, in addition to a B2B platform.”
“I believe it will perform well, as it will fuel and bring energy to the fashion industry,” Bizzi said, adding that the goal of the show’s organizers has always been “to open our industry to the people and get them involved.”
A range of exhibitions, concerts and workshops will be staged concurrently to the White Street Market to enhance engagement with customers and offer cultural activities in addition to business opportunities.
Developed with Paolo Ruffato, founder of street fashion specialist Probeat Agency, and Walter D’Aprile, founder of digital media agency Nss Factory, the project will count on the additional support of a range of partners, including a relevant e-commerce player, whose name has not yet been disclosed.
“We’re working on a very innovative collaboration with a digital partner,” said Ruffato, explaining that their intention is to have potential customers interested in a specific fashion item purchase it via smartphone directly at the fair. Then the goods will be available for pick up at the trade show or they will be shipped to their homes.
Ruffato also said that consumers will be granted free access upon registration through the trade show’s web site.
According to the Probeat Agency founder, the White Street Market will be “a great opportunity to provide a different way of interaction between companies, fashion professionals and consumers in order to communicate with people similarly to a [digital] social network.”
“To change the concept of trade shows in Italy is risky and complicated,” said D’Aprile, who will be in charge of the art direction and of the brand selection of the project. “But it’s a very important step which enables Milan and the rest of the country to compete with other international realities.”
Ruffato also highlighted that, since the project will be launched during Milan Fashion Week, it will attract an international audience.
A preview of White Street Market will be offered at a teaser event staged on Jan. 14, during the upcoming edition of the White trade show.
Running Jan. 13 to 15, the Milan-based exhibition will replicate the formula of showing both men’s and women’s collections at the same time, showcasing 217 brands, 157 of which are women’s labels showing their pre-collections.
Continuing to focus on the ongoing ath-leisure trend, White will also showcase the second edition of the “Ahead – Ath-leisure for the future @White” format, developed in collaboration with London-based showroom Tomorrow. Brands such as Monreal London, C-Clique, Sapopa, White Mountaineering and Kappa x P.A.M. x A Four Labs will be displayed in the section as part of a multimedia installation.
Strengthening its relationship and promoting the numerous Milanese showrooms, White will additionally offer the “Showroom Connection@White” project, which aims to create a bridge among brands, showrooms and buyers in order to facilitate the number of orders.
To widen its offer, the fair will introduce two new sections, named White Bijoux and Knitwear, focusing on niche accessories labels and ten textile specialists, respectively. The former will display brands as Bjorg, 0.88 and Sophie D’Agon, while the latter will showcase companies such as Nanna Van Blaaderen and Avril 8790.
In addition, the White Glasses corner will include international eyewear labels like Spektre Sunglasses and Pâquerettes Paris, while a beauty and lifestyle area will spotlight emerging cosmetic companies.